There are many negative connotations to Veganism. The negative connotations are for the most part based upon the pre-conceived ideas that vegans are annoying little brats. Some are, it is true. Some refer to veganism as a religious cult. It is true to a certain extent. How can one convince an omnivore about veganism and what are the best ways to approach the topic?
Veganism is based upon logic and science and refuses to accept any illogical fallacies. Somehow this could be translated into a lifestyle than anything else. A lifestyle of compassion for animals, the environment and your own body.
Take a look at this cartoon, what emotions do you feel?
I am not saying eating animal products is manly, but these are often excuses I come across when discussing Veganism. What about this one?
Why is limiting the suffering of sentient mammals still not a recognised virtue. Maybe plants do have feelings, but so far our science has not had much development in this field. Why bring up the pain carrots feel when being pulled out of the ground? Isn’t this putting the focus of the argument elsewhere, in order to feel better about your own behaviour as a whole? Why is recycling part of your daily routine but eating animal products even after being presented the facts not a daily routine?
But it is comprehensible that omnivores are stubborn, many vegans were before making the transition. It is annoying when somebody is telling you the truth about animal products and its effect on your health, its effect on the environment and its effect on the animals themselves. It is the fact that the person being told to go vegan is immediately labelled as: a bad person. This individual is labelled as a guilty individual. This individual is labelled as a sheep. This individual is labelled as immoral and unjust. And that the vegan is self-righteous and better.
The approach needs to change.
Then what approach should be used? How can be one best raise awareness and slowly make relatives, friends and other people aware of the terrible conditions in which animals find themselves? How can we raise awareness about the impact of animals agriculture on the environment? How can we raise awareness about the effects that animal products have on one’s human body?
Anyone is capable of understanding that slaughtering animals for our taste pleasures is wrong. Taking the life of another sentient being is wrong. Killing millions of factory farming animals is wrong and allowing industries to have a huge impact on the environment is wrong. Actively damaging your body is wrong. All of this is wrong.
Being compassionate towards animals, the environment and your health is a virtue. It is not easy to empathise with flesh in a supermarket. It is difficult to truly witness the direct effect of agriculture on the planet. It is also very difficult to feel the damage dealt to your body by consuming animal products.
It is also very difficult to let go of the idea that meat, eggs and milk are a necessary additive to our diets. But, these are responsible for terrible diseases such as Alzheimer, osteoarthritis and diabetes to name a few
The idea of this lifestyle is not to force everyone to go vegan in one go from one day to another. That would be unrealistic. Some people do manage to make the change but some others require more time.
In the comfortable western world, it is now possible to take the ethical steps towards eating less meat and animal products in general and you should take full advantage of it. The demand for animal products will decrease and the demand for plant based products such as soya, tempeh, tofu and meat substitutes will increase. These collectivist actions will result in positive outcomes such as: a decrease in health issues for the population and a decrease in CO2 and methane in the atmosphere for example.
If you do decide to change your diet for just a week, think about the number of animals you will spare. Think about the water you will save.
Think about the amount of space that will be made available for crops.
Think about the amount of health related issues the next generations will be able to overcome. Be compassionate to the animals, the nature, and your own body.
Do not forget where most of your animal products come from:
If you still think this cow looks appetising then I have a lot more writing to do. If a slaughtered cow disgusts you, why would it please you in your plate.
I will leave you with that thought.